I feel the weight of the world fall onto these already aching shoulders.
Bend and fracture them with its unbearable suffering, unspeakable horror, and daunting injustice.
Inconsequential, and chronically dismal, I sink back into myself,
Where not even whirlwinds, gunfire, or magma can touch me.
Here, there are only drops of rainwater beading on blades of grass,
Tiny, clawed feet digging into the soil in search of mealworms,
Fur-covered ears twitching East, then West, straining for sounds of a predator which never comes,
And sunlight, white and pure, bleeding through branches onto the wildflowers below.
Here, the rabbits do not eat them.
Their beauty endures forever.
At dawn, I emerge from a den of moss and pine,
Only to find you standing there, eyes hollow and seeking solace from the world above.
At first, you stay cloaked in the form of a wolf; a form you know I will welcome,
And you successfully blend into the backdrop of this placid sanctuary.
Buried inside the stillness, I place a shaky palm atop the crown of your skull,
And sing a song we’ve both forgotten; a song of youth and frailty.
I watch as you flatten your ears, shut your eyes tightly against it.
It is then you shed the gentle skin of the wolf, and reveal yourself to me.
The scarred heart.
The tiny, wiry body.
Eyes red from shedding tears..
Swollen from trying to expel the pain so hard to speak of.
Softly, I tell you we have been such before, “The Wolf”.
The creature held most dear, yet the creature most often misunderstood.
For the howl which strikes fear into the heart is merely a cry of sorrow.
Never savage or cruel.
Never selfish or angry.
Only soulful; an ache so powerful it can reach the moon.
I wonder if you feel it then..
The shudder which passes through me with cold precision, as a dagger would,
At the thought of everything boiling back above the surface.
But you only shake your head, eyes misty as though they peer into a dream.
I see you then as the mass of tangled and tarnished copper wires I know so well,
And though painstaking, I have spent these years unraveling every one.
Unraveling them with the love and care you never knew.
The love you always craved, but could never have.
When I touch you, the blood in your veins burns you from the inside out.
The past comes rushing forward to sting us both; to leave us quaking with fear.
Imbued with the bitter, hateful irrationality that took your life away from you,
And came so close to taking mine..
Making clear the fact that these years we’ve spent together have been nothing short of a curse.
Only then do I realize how you were able to follow me even here.
To this place I built to hide from the world.
This place I wanted filled with nothing but beauty and light..
You squander it, time and time again with the baleful eyes of a child.
I know now, I cannot escape you, because to do so would be to escape my very Soul.
You are the child living inside of me screaming to hide.
Telling me to run away, curl up as a fox might amongst the soil and rock.
Hoping to not be seen.
Hoping to not be captured.
Running hard and fast from every bit of sinister movement..
But I have finally lifted my head in challenge.
Tasted the air I was always too terrified to breathe..
Spread wings I had so long believed to be broken..
And where I had once tried silencing you with rage,
I now reach out, continue to unravel the wires, and whisper,
“We will no longer survive. We will live.”